Belfast Telegraph

Kilclooney slams Alliance over stance on EU special status

By Noel McAdam

A former Ulster Unionist MEP has criticised Alliance's support for a special Brexit deal for Northern Ireland that differs from the rest of the UK. Lord Kilclooney, who was in the European Parliament for more than a decade, argued it was "a very dangerous policy".

"As a former MEP, I am very concerned that the Alliance Party has joined with Sinn Fein and the SDLP to campaign for a special status for Northern Ireland following Brexit," he said.

"This means that Alliance no longer want Northern Ireland to be treated as part of the United Kingdom, and so every vote for Alliance will be assumed by commentators to be added to those of the SDLP and Sinn Fein demanding a new relationship with Dublin.

"This is a very dangerous policy which could damage our economy and the incomes of every person in Northern Ireland."

But Alliance South Belfast candidate Paula Bradshaw said: "Brexit is the biggest threat facing Northern Ireland in decades, not only to our economy, but the political stability of this region.

"Northern Ireland only works on the basis of sharing and interdependence, whereas Brexit is all about erecting new divisions and barriers.

"Alliance believes we need a pragmatic response to the challenges posed by Brexit. A special deal for Northern Ireland is fundamental to stabilising this society, given all the uncertainties we face. It is incumbent our community unites around that response, given those challenges."

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